Smiths Detection wins contract to supply Army robot with chemical detector

Published 18 August 2006

Army will fit iRobot PackBot with Smiths’ Lightweight Chemical Detector (LCD); tests to continue in Alaska

As robots become lighter and more agile, the greater the demand to suit them out with auxiliary skills, and military drones are no exception. Smiths Detection announced yesterday that it had been selected by the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center to equip the advanced reconaissance robot, the iRobot PackBot, with its Lightweight Chemical Detector (LCD). The ultra-light (twenty-four kilograms fully loaded) PackBot can already defuse bombs and handle hazardous material. Now, with the LCD and its ability to detect a wide range of chemical warfare agents including nerve, blister, blood, and choking agents, the PackBot is ready for further testing with the 95th Chemical Company at Fort Richardson and Elemdorf Air Force Base in September. If tests prove succesful, the robot and its LCD componant will stay with the 95th for two years.

-read more in this news release; read more about the iRobot Packbot in this Army Technology report